The Story Behind the Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic

(Told by Abbey Algiers, the daughter of one of the Goldbug founders, Dr. James Algiers)

We’re gearing up for the 34th Annual Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic on Tuesday, July 9 at Hartford Country Club. Sponsored by the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford, the event raises money for medical transportation of patients in Washington County.

But what’s the story behind the event? 

The Goldbug dates back to 1990, when Dr. James Algiers, and the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford Executive Director Terry Goerne were looking for a way to raise funds for an Adult Day Care Center in Hartford. 

Dr. Algiers wanted the center to have (as he called it) “a snazzy name” so those attending could say, “Hey, I’m going to the 1022 Club. I’m going to the club today.” (Instead of, I’m going to adult day care.) He also wanted those attending the center to feel a sense of belonging and purpose – to have a place to go each day. In addition, the center would offer caregivers a few hours to recharge and take care of necessary errands and appointments.  

Dr. Algiers and Terry Goerne decided a golf tournament would be an excellent way to raise money for the center.

(This 2015 archived video from the City of Hartford shows Dr. Algiers and Terry Goerne telling the history of the event. Some details surrounding the event have changed since this recording, but it’s an excellent synopsis of the history of the Goldbug and Adult Day Care Center.)

The Story Behind the Name… the Goldbug

In naming the tournament, the goal was to keep it local and pay homage to Hartford’s past.  The tournament was named the “Goldbug Golf Classic” after the 1923 Kissel 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster, manufactured by the Kissel Car company in Hartford.  Dr. Algiers and Terry Goerne thought the unique name, logo, and story behind it would make the tournament extra special.

The beginning years… 

The two worked hard in those early years to grow the Goldbug and raise the necessary funds. Former executive director Laura Eggert was also an integral part of the Goldbug’s evolution. The event became an annual tradition for many in Hartford.  In later years, Deb Holton took over as Executive Director and continued to grow this wonderful event. Today, Sarah Grotelueschen is the Foundation’s Executive Director keeping the Goldbug strong.

Thanks to the generosity, hard work, and participation of many, the 1022 Club opened and is still going strong today, now under a new name, “Tamarack Adult Day Services.”  My dad enjoyed his work on the Goldbug and with the Medical Center Foundation of Hartford, as it helped better the community he and my mom, Dorothy Algiers, had loved and supported their entire lives. 

Many individuals have helped the Goldbug grow over the years. Dr. Algiers truly appreciated the support from the Foundation, community, golfers, Hartford Country Club, and sponsors each year. 

The Messages Every Goldbug Participant needs to remember

Dr. Algiers always had two messages for Goldbug participants that hold true today:

1. “You are all so important. Your participation is deeply appreciated.”

2. “Please, enjoy the day.” 

The event was to be a positive gathering of people with one collective goal – to make a difference. 

Unfortunately, both Dr.Algiers and his wife Dorothy passed in 2020. In the summer of 2020, the tournament was renamed The Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic.

Making a difference is what it’s all about. 

Today, the Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic raises funds for the Drive for Rides Program, which provides transportation to medical appointments for those in need. 

Join us this Year! 

The Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic is always held the second Tuesday in July at the Hartford Country Club. This year, we’ll tee off on July 9. Get your foursome together or sign up individually  to be place in a foursome. By playing in this fun, 18 hole scramble,  you can help someone attain necessary transportation to an important medical appointment. 

You’re not just giving back; you’re giving hope.  

Not a golfer? No worries! We’ve got sponsorship opportunities that help you or your company be part of this important cause. Bit by bit, we can all make a difference to help those in need. Helping those in need was Dr. Algiers’ life calling. His barometer of a good day? “If I was able to help at least one person, it was a good day.” 

Let’s make July 9, 2024 a good day.